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Sand Coulee was established before Great Falls. Farmers from Iowa came by emigrant train to Corrine, Utah (the end of the railroad) in the early 1880s and hired freight wagons to take them and their household goods from there to Sand Coulee. The first settlement was called Giffin, after the Nat McGiffin family,who were area pioneers; when the McGiffins moved further up the coulee the name was changed to describe the terrain. The area boomed when coal was found in commercial quantities, attracting miners who supplied some of the railroads for several years. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company) The Great Northern Railroad decided to develop the Sand Coulee coal mines to supply them with the necessary fuel. But with the increased use of electricity and other power sources the mines closed during the 1920s and 1930s.
Sand Coulee is located in an area teeming with great Montana attractions. Within a thirty-mile radius you will find Great Falls, which offers museums, shopping, and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. Also within a short drive of Sand Coulee are Lewis and Clark National Forest land, Giant Springs State Park, Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, Sluice Boxes State Park, and much more!
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